Signaling and Transport Processes

The work of our group is aimed at understanding signal processes and epithelial transport on the molecular level. Currently we focus on the functional characterization of the recently identified TMEM16 family of ion channels with 10 members. Some of them are calcium activated chloride channels (CaCCs), known to be involved in various types of sensory transduction like vision, olfaction and pain perception, muscle contraction and blood pressure regulation as well as secretion of hormones and airway fluids. Mutations in one TMEM16 gene can cause a human inherited disease while other family members are heavily upregulated in some cancers. It has also been suggested to use openers of TMEM16 channels to bypass the defect cystic fibrosis chloride channel in lung.

We investigate these proteins with various techniques including patch clamp, imaging and transgenics. Please check the project section for further information.